For family of suicide victims, local support is needed

DOWNEY - Bob Feliciano, president of the Sean Vernon Feliciano Amazing Day Foundation, made his second trip to UC Santa Barbara this month to deliver a presentation on depression, suicide and the impact that his son's death had on family and friends.Feliciano, speaking to more than 300 UCSB students, explained the devastation felt by family and friends when Sean Feliciano, a UCSB student, took his life on March 3, 2009. Bob Feliciano was part of a panel that also included students and mental health professionals. Questions were submitted in advance and also taken from the audience. Feliciano gave a similar presentation to a smaller group last year on the second anniversary of Sean's death. After last year's presentation, Feliciano called his wife, Joan, in Downey and told her "there was no better be that night than with a bunch of Sean's peers." The Amazing Day Foundation is working with UCSB mental health staff to address suicide among young college students. The foundation is currently planning its third annual Walk for Life scheduled for Sept. 8 at Stonewood Center. The foundation is currently being considered as the national philanthropic project for Sigma Pi International, Feliciano said. A final decision should be announced before the walk. The foundation is also working with Rio Hondo College to create a survivor's outreach program for local residents who lost a friend or family member to suicide. The closest such program is currently in West L.A. or south Orange County, Feliciano said. The idea of a locally-based outreach program came about when a 21-year-old Rio Hondo College graduate committed suicide. Family members approached the foundation for help with the program, Feliciano said. Anyone interested in a survivors group can contact Bob Feliciano at (562) 869-0660.

********** Published: March 15, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 48